Monday, July 31, 2017

Toby Jepson says Wayward Son's debut is the best album he has ever made - video interview

I'm just back from the Rock & Blues Custom Show festival in Derbyshire. During a great weekend I chatted with some brilliant artists and I will be posting these on the blog in the next few days. First up Toby Jepson, frontman for Wayward Sons. Watch our fascinating chat as the lovely Toby talks about  fronting a band again, and why he feels the forthcoming Ghosts Of Yet To Come debut album is the best he has ever made. Huge thanks to Toby for sparing me some time!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Watch, as I just about control VEGA backstage at Amplified Festival!

I managed to grab a chat with the boys from VEGA just before they hit the stage at Amplified last weekend. Amongst a fair bit of heckling, I did manage to find out about their demos album, upcoming UK tour, and I even heard a rough mix of a new tune!

Fragile Things talk recording and live shows - interview at Amplified Festival

I was lucky enough to catch a word with all of the guys from Fragile Things backstage after their incredible set at the Amplified Festival last weekend. Watch to see what they had to say about playing the new event, releasing new material and upcoming live dates!

Big thanks to the guys for their time and to Pat for arranging.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Amplified weekender turns up the rock - review, 21-23 July 2017

A great weekend at the brand new Amplified festival in Gloucestershire, seeing some fabulous bands and catching up with friends. I interviewed some artists too, so keep your eyes out for those appearing here later!
On site at Amplified 2017
It was an unfortunate start to the weekend though, as rain hit the site in an unforgiving downpour which caused multiple technical issues including stage closures, set changes and some bands missing the event. It was a little disappointing that the attendance was fairly low, but it was a brand new festival and those of us on site certainly enjoyed the weekend.

Interviewing James and Chris from Rival Bones
 Opening the 3-day event in great style on the Friday were duo, Rival Bones. I caught up with the guys after their set; check back to watch the interview and to see what Chris and James thought of the festival.

It was great to catch up with the girls from The Amorettes!
Also on Friday were favourites of mine, The Amorettes. Despite battling torrential rain, the three-piece Scottish rockers put on a fab performance, showing just what a great festival act they are. Gill, Hannah and Heather performed a rockin, all-too-short 30 mins set showcasing the likes of Let The Neighbours Call The Cops and Hot N Heavy.

Chatting with Mark from DEPARTED

I had also hoped to catch DEPARTED’s set on Friday, but sadly due to circumstances out with the organisers’ control they were not able to perform. However, do make sure you check out the guys as they have released a great EP, and I am hoping to grab a word with them soon. The Friday headliners were Puddle Of Mudd, who again due to weather conditions delivered their set in the beer tent to an approving crowd.

Massive Wagons in action!
Saturday saw slightly better weather and the main stage back up and running. Set times were adjusted to accommodate all of the bands and highlights for me were the fast-rising Massive Wagons, who absolutely rocked the tent, followed by the outstanding Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons. It was a real pleasure to see ex-Motorhead guitarist Campbell in action with his sons, performing their own original material, along with some Black Sabbath and of course classic Motorhead tracks.
I was lucky enough to grab a word with ex-Motorhead legend, Phil Campbell
Sunday was the highlight for me. Kicking off the day in the blazing sunshine on the main stage was a band I have waited a long time to see – Fragile Things! The 4 piece is fronted by Richie Hevanz, formerly of Hurricane Party/Roadstar/Heaven’s Basement, who I used to go and see when I was younger. It was lovely to meet the guys and catch up with Richie after all these years! They delivered a rocking set and it was just a shame that they weren’t on stage a little bit later in the day to attract a bigger crowd. I enjoyed a great interview with the guys, where we spoke about the show and their exciting plans which will be up on the blog very soon. 

Successful interview done with the boys from Fragile Things

Fragile Things delivered a killer set on Sunday!
Sunday also saw Bad Touch on the main stage. I have seen these guys a couple of times before, and they again delivered a great set of bluesy-Southern rock. The sun shone brightly and the audience were certainly impressed by frontman Stevie Westwood’s energy and enthusiasm.

Bad Touch live on stage in the sunshine
After a ‘cheeky’ appearance at the end of Bad Touch’s set, Aussie rockers, Massive played a rocking, well-received show in front of a decent-sized crowd, and were great fun to watch.
The guys from Massive were great fun!
Then it was one of my personal favourites; the one and only VEGA. These guys are infectiously energetic and great to watch, with songs that have more hooks than a fishing shop! While maybe at odds with the rest of the much heavier bill, the melodic rockers didn’t let that worry them and played a set of killer tunes, which would put many to shame. I was lucky enough to spend some time with the guys backstage which was a real treat, and we filmed an interesting interview which I will be posting soon!
The incredible VEGA in action
I had great fun hanging out with the boys from VEGA!
Closing the event were Reef, who whilst not really to my taste, who did a fab job pleasing the crowd on the main stage.

All round, this was a great first attempt at delivering a vast festival. It was a weekend which I certainly enjoyed, whilst hanging out with some great bands and friends. I do hope Amplified returns next year. Next stop for me is the Rock and Blues Custom Show in Derby this weekend – check back soon for my review!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Bryan Adams rocks Inverness – live review, 16/7/17

Me outside the dressing room!

Bryan Adams rounded off his UK Get Up! Tour, with a sole Scottish date, in Bught Park Inverness. Thousands of fans rocked to a 2 hour set full of hits performed by Adams and his incredible 4-piece band, featuring legendary long-serving guitarist Keith Scott.

Kicking off the night however was Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Canadian singer-songwriter, who started the show well with his energetic approach and catchy material.
Star of the show was of course Mr Adams who fed the crowd hit after hit with his distinctive, glorious vocals, which sounded mighty good live! The talented Canadian opened with one of his newer tracks, Do What You Gotta Do, before getting to the brilliant Run To You and the lush piano that signified the start of Heaven, which had the whole park singing their hearts out.
Bryan Adams and Keith Scott rocking
Summer Of 69 had the place going mad too of course, with almost everyone filming on their phones at some point, before Adams delivered a marvellous acoustic version of When You’re Gone.

Adding brilliant melodies throughout the whole night, was the incredible guitarist Keith Scott. His iconic riffs and rhythms truly added to the unmistakeable tunes that the band were blasting out all night. Paired with a sound that would put many other professional bands to shame, the band really did create a night to remember.
I was very lucky to meet Bryan Adams!!
Bryan Adams also received great applause and respect from those in the crowd after halting the set mid-song twice in order to tell a security guard to go easy on a fan having fun.

The night was rounded off with the beautiful All For Love, which saw the whole of Bught Park lit up by a sea of smartphone torches held aloft – a truly magical scene.

All I can say is that the incredible Bryan Adams and his band played an amazing set packed full of classics and favourites which the whole crowd thoroughly enjoyed. A wonderful night from one of the most talented men in rock.
Myself and the incredibly talented Keith Scott!
I was lucky enough to spend some time backstage with Keith Scott before the show, check out my interview here. Look out for a surprise appearance from Bryan too!

Watch as Bryan Adams photobombs my Keith Scott interview !

I was delighted to meet another superb rock guitarist last night, when I had the pleasure of talking backstage with Keith Scott from Bryan Adams' band, ahead of their outdoor show in Inverness, Scotland (live review here). Creator of some of the most iconic guitar riffs and solos ever, see what Keith had to say - and watch out for his boss joining in the fun!

My huge thanks to Keith, Bryan and Cee for their help.      

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Blink-182 storm into Aberdeen - Live review 12/7/17

Last night saw American punk-rock trio Blink-182 hit Aberdeen’s AECC.
Travis Barker
Opening the show were indie rockers, The Front Bottoms (I would have chosen a different name!) who after their short set won over the fair-sized crowd of Aberdonians. Next up was Frank Turner and his band The Sleeping Souls who, if I hadn’t known better, could have fooled me into believing they were the headliners. With Turner’s humorous banter and energetic performance, he certainly seemed to have the crowd on side (a lot of whom appeared to know the material), a great way to start the show.
Matt Skiba showed he has fitted in really well
With a curtain drop and an explosion of pyros, the headlining trio were revealed on stage. Playing a set of old and new material, Blink-182 began their brief show (which didn’t feel short due to the amount of material packed into it!) with Feeling This, before roaring through 18 more tracks to bring them to the encore! Marching back on stage, Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Matt Skiba soaked up the warm applause from the crowd as they reached their biggest hit, All The Small Things. Despite most of the venue having sung along through the whole set, it was really this song which had everyone going wild. To finish the night, Barker’s young son Landon, completed an impressive drum solo warming the hearts of everyone.
Mark Hoppus
Having been with the band 2 years now, it was great to see that guitarist and vocalist, Matt Skiba seemed to have gelled nicely with the other 2 members. A great night of fiery pyros, wild singing and just straight-up punk rock music! 3 well-received bands and a night of fun.
Big thanks to the brilliant Dod Morrison for the photos. Check out his work here!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Amplified Festival set to rock Gloucestershire

I'm super excited to be heading down to Gloucestershire in just a couple of weeks for the brand new, family-friendly Amplified Festival (21-23 July). This looks like it's going to be a cracking event, with over 90 bands to see across the weekend! Headliners are Puddle Of Mudd on Friday, Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons (ex Motorhead) on Saturday, with Reef closing the show on Sunday night. Some of the other acts that I'm also really looking forward to catching are VEGA, The Amorettes, Massive Wagons and Fragile Things (featuring Richie Hevanz, formerly of Heaven's Basement).

You can get tickets for the festival here, and if you buy a weekend ticket you'll go into the draw to win an amazing prize. The organisers have teamed up with Blade Harley-Davidson Cheltenham to give away a custom built Harley Davidson motorbike
The ‘Iron Man’ themed Sportster XL833N up for grabs
 I'm will be covering the festival and catching a few words with some of the artists, so keep an eye on the blog!